Thursday, August 19, 2004

The long-awaited announcement that O'Sullivan Industries, the backbone of Lamar's economy for the past 40 years, will move its corporate headquarters to Atlanta should have come as no surprise.
After all, during the past three months, O'Sullivan has hired three new executives to run the company, all of whom come from Atlanta-based Rubbermaid Newell.
The O'Sullivan press release said, according to this morning's Joplin Globe, that the move was necessary for continued business. Million dollar CEO Bob Parker said, "We are excited about moving the corporate headquarters to the Atlanta area. By moving to a larger metropolitan area, we will make our corporate headquarters more accessible to our valued customers."
What Parker did not say in the press release was that the move to Atlanta was a done deal before he signed on the dotted line to become CEO. Without the move, Parker, the new chief financial officer Rick Allan Watkins, and Michael Orr, all Rubbermaid Newell transplants, would not have taken their new positions.
Looking at it from Parker's perspective, it is probably difficult to figure out enough ways to spend a million dollars a year in Lamar. Though the press release indicated manufacturing, accounting, engineering, customer service, and distribution will all remain in Lamar, you can't blame O'Sullivan employees for being more than a little bit skeptical, especially after the recent bloodbath of long-time company officials.
This move by the Atlanta mafia is just another slap in the face to the memory of Tom O'Sullivan Sr.

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